I’ve been thinking a lot about this post on the Superhero Journal, in particular the importance of asking for what one wants and making room for someone to give it you. In general, I am terrible at this. The line between request and demand is so thin in my mind, that I can rarely risk being a bad a girl and not graciously smiling at every present I am given, even when it is a grave disappointment. I’m the first one to say, “Oh no, don’t go out of your way. You don’t have to buy me anything. A card is great. Thank you, so much,” even when my heart was screaming out for something else. I am also guilty of saying, “Get me whatever you want me to have,” while hoping for some magic telekinesis to take place so that I will receive something that I really want.
I have long felt that if I had to ask for something, it wasn’t a gift. That a gift was supposed to be something someone else wanted you to have, a generous offering of their heart. There is some merit to that thinking. But what if in their heart of hearts what that person wants to give me is something I’ll truly love? Does it serve either of our agendas if I never reveal what those things are?
In many ways this is a uniquely female problem. Women have been taught to hint, drop innuendo, to gracefully accept. Men are much better trained to assert themselves in the world, to ask for what they want with conviction, to demand when necessary. My inability to do these things extends further than simple gift receiving, it can actually be traced as the root cause for multiple disappointments in my life—from not being taught how to drive until I was 20, not applying to any colleges, spending four unsatisfied years in a job only to be mercilessly fired, to wearing clothes I hate everyday, because I’m afraid to
ask for demand something I look good in and love.
So in that spirit, and perhaps because we are in the beginning of that great American celebration—the Season of Giving and Receiving, that others might call the Christmas, or Holiday Season—I’m going dedicate my remaining Sunday NaBloPoMo postings to building my virtual wish list. Each post will feature a link to one or two items and a reason why it would make me happy to receive it. Nothing more or less complicated than that.
Wish List Item One: The Elements of Cooking by Michael Ruhlman
This recently-published cooking manual is on my list because I have been a fan of Michael Ruhlman’s food writing ever since I discovered him during his guest stint on Meg Hourihan’s blog, megnut.com. Although I love to cook, I’m not a real foody in the sense that I rarely eat at fine dining restaurants (can’t afford it, my dining partner is picky, and I’m too introverted to make new friends who might have different palettes). I subscribe to Everyday Food, but other than that I have few cooking references. Although I have had some of Ruhlman’s other books on my wish list for a while, this new one seems the most useful for my needs as a home who will never own a restaurant, bakery/bookstore/espresso bar, or become a personal chef or caterer. I may be those things in an alternate universe. But, here on Earth, I’m a work-at-home mom, and wife to a man who’s mother never cooked with salt.